Frustrated that your competitor is always in the news? Questioning why they are continually interviewed and not your company? Wondering how to secure a feature about your manufacturing company’s products and services?
Here’s a secret: Smart manufacturing sales and marketing professionals treat the media just like any other prospect. They get to know industry reporters, build rapport, find out what is important not only to them, but also their readers.
Trade shows, especially industrial shows, are the perfect place to begin building a relationship with editors and reporters that cover your industry. Follow the steps (and bonus hints) below and you will soon see your company featured. Remember, editorial coverage means thousands of eye balls on your article which will bring them to your website and ultimately, capture their information in lead conversion.
Part One: setting the stage for media relationship success
Pre-game: Before you begin, have the end in mind. Think about your prospect and what you want them to know about your company. Align the right media publication(s) with both their readers (your prospects) and their editorial direction or coverage. Then, have something to say. Have press materials, photos, charts, infographics at the ready should they be interested.
Step one: Obtain the media list from the show organizers. Show organizers may have last year’s list but what you really want is the current and registered media. These are the folks already credentialed and confirmed they are attending. You may have to ask for several updates to this list, as media may registered up to the last minute. You may have to do some research, securing email addresses and mail address as this is often not provided.
Step two: Peak the media’s interest. Mail something ahead of time with both information about the company and a request to meet while at the show. We actually create a schedule and book set times for meetings. 90-100% of the media appointments booked are honored with on-time interviews (So, have your experts in your booth!). Here’s a cool dimensional promotion we sent prior to a rapid prototyping conference for our client www.fabrisonic.com
Step three: Make the call! Yes, pick up the phone and actually speak to the editor. Tell them why it is worth their time to meet your company and employee experts. Have your top three message points and your schedule for interviews at the ready. Often, they will pick a time right on the phone
Step four: So, you were given unlimited access to their voicemail. Don’t fret. Send a detailed follow up email referencing your succinct voicemail, again with your reasons to meet. We often use the words ‘media’ and ‘the trade show name’ in the subject to get their attention.
Now that the stage is set, you’re ready to move forward with the actual interview. In Part Two, we’ll cover how to be prepared for the interview, how to gather additional interest and secure the press coverage you deserve.